Night at the Museum
Runtime: 1 hr 49 min
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Shawn Levy
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Paul Rudd, Dick Van Dyke, Carla Gugino, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson
A cute family film for the holidays.
Review by: SteveRhodes
Added: 7 years ago
History comes alive every night at The Museum of Natural History in NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, a JUMANJI LITE tale told by director Shawn Levy (THE PINK PANTHER and CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN). A cute family film for the holidays, it doesn't have many big laughs, but it's got more than enough smaller ones.
This hectic comedy stars Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, a new night guard at the museum, which only has a single guard once the paying public leaves. Although Stiller is funny, the supporting cast is frequently better, with the best being Steve Coogan and Owen Wilson as a pair of squabbling little figures from adjoining dioramas.
When Larry begins his first night in the museum armed with a dog-eared instruction manual given him by the three old guards, played by Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs. The first instruction is "Throw the bone." This comes in handy when the T-Rex skeleton in the lobby comes alive. Sometime after that every mannequin, whether human or animal, is roaming around, trying to eat or harass each other or Larry. But, by the second night, Larry gains the upper hand on the figures large and small. One poignant character is played by Robin Williams. As Teddy Roosevelt, Williams pines for Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck), who is trapped behind plate glass as she guides Lewis and Clark across the vast American wilderness.
The only rule that Larry has to follow every night is that no one is allowed to get in or out of the museum. Once the sun rises, the inanimate objects in the museum become so again, while any that might have escaped are instantly turned into dust.
There are many imaginative moments in this heart-warming film, which isn't exactly set during the holidays but certainly feels like a holiday movie. My favorite moment comes when Larry decides to put Sacajawea's legendary tracking skills to the test. She comes through with flying colors in what proves to be a remarkably simple assignment.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM runs 1:49. It is rated PG for "mild action, language and brief rude humor" and would be acceptable for all ages.
My son Jeffrey, age 17, really enjoyed the film. He remarked on how fresh the story was, and he particularly liked the way it never took itself seriously and didn't feel the need to end with a semi-serious last act. His girlfriend Yasmin, also 17, said that she "adored it and couldn't stop laughing." They both gave it *** 1/2.